MSP arrest man wanted in Florida on animal cruelty charges

OCEAN CITY, Md. – Maryland State Police apprehended a Maryland man Friday morning who is wanted on animal cruelty charges in the state of Florida.

Troopers say 31-year-old William Hunter Hardesty was wanted on a warrant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on charges of animal cruelty to migratory birds and the intentional feeding of pelicans.

The warrant was a result of a video that was posted on social media showing a man in Florida luring and jumping on top of a pelican in the water. The Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack received several tips Friday morning from concerned citizens saying they believed the individual seen in the video was staying at a hotel in Ocean City. They reported that the man was bragging about being wanted for feeding and tackling a pelican in the Florida Keys.

Hardesty was taken into custody shortly after 9 a.m. at a hotel in the 12000 block of Ocean Gateway in Ocean City. He is currently being held in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Maryland